Lebanon News

Hezbollah-Future must reach out to each other:Qassem

Hezbollah's deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem speaks in front of students at the LU in Hadath. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: A senior Hezbollah official called Monday on the Future Movement to take positive steps in order to improve relations between the two sides, strained mainly by deep differences over the war in Syria.

Hezbollah has so far refrained from commenting on former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s return to Lebanon last week after more than three years abroad for security reasons.

Hezbollah’s deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem acknowledged that the party’s relations with the Future Movement were still strained.

In order for the strained ties to improve, Qassem said the two sides must take positive steps toward each other.

“Describing relations between Hezbollah and the Future Movement as cool is correct. In order for these relations to become warm, steps should be taken by the two sides,” Qassem said in an interview with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV station Monday night.

He added that Hezbollah is ready to react positively if the Future Movement showed positive signals. “The road is not closed. But we will not demand anything from anyone,” he said.

Qassem called for “political steps” by the Future Movement to revive state institutions and elect a new president and stop “provocation” against Hezbollah.

“Then, meetings between the two sides could be held to discuss detains and reach results,” he said.

Qassem said Hariri’s return was not linked to accelerating the presidential election. “His return is linked to his role and administering his movement,” he said.

He added that Hezbollah backed the $1billion Saudi grant to boost the capabilities of the Lebanese Army and security forces in the battle against terrorism,.

“We support bolstering the Lebanese Army with billions of dollars from any country in the world, except Israel,” Qassem said.





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